Equal Marriage Victories . . . and Some Challenges
April 3, 2012
During the last three months, a flurry of activity on equal marriage took place in the state legislatures, and we celebrated key victories.
In addition to last June's New York victory, this year we have seen one of the longest strings of LGBT victories ever! Equal marriage passed in Washington state, New Jersey and Maryland. NOW congratulates the activists who worked diligently to make this happen, including Maryland NOW president Linda Mahoney, who delivered inspiring testimony to a joint committee hearing of the Maryland General Assembly. Governors signed the bills in Washington and Maryland; but unfortunately Gov. Chris Christie vetoed New Jersey's bill.
Success wasn't easy, and it doesn't go unchallenged. In both Washington and Maryland, opponents are attempting to get referenda on the November ballot to repeal these victories.
Another success occurred in New Hampshire, where legislators recently voted against a measure that would repeal the state's marriage equality law. And in Maine, marriage equality activists succeeded in getting enough signatures to place a citizen's initiative on the ballot to allow equal marriage. Polls indicate greater support now than in 2009, when equal marriage supporters were unable to defeat a referendum that overturned Maine's same-sex marriage law.
In North Carolina and Minnesota, NOW activists are working to defeat referenda to amend their state constitutions to ban same-sex marriage.
NOW Executive Vice President Bonnie Grabenhofer urges equal marriage supporters: "Contact any and all voters you know in North Carolina to be sure they vote to defeat this measure on May 8."
Grabenhofer adds: "Polls indicate that support for marriage equality is increasing, and we have some very real opportunities to win historic firsts in November 2012. Minnesota may become the first state to reject an amendment that would outlaw same-sex marriage. And Maine may be the first state to win marriage rights from the voters."
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